Mount Rushmore Art – Illustrating what the Borglums Sculpted.

Mount Rushmore is an odd looking mountain. It’s got four presidential heads so it reminds me of Lord Brahma; it also makes me wonder why George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln made it there while the other Presidents didn’t.  This isn’t the only question that makes me itch for an answer. I am also curious why people like to see their faces on the mountain.

My research reveals that even Alfredl E. Neuman (the mascot of MAD magazine) has appeared as the fifth face on Mount Rushmore. I expect others to give in to human frailties, but I had always looked up to him – and frankly, never expected this from him. I guess it was the editor of the magazine who decided the cover should show the rocky-face of this funny guy with a missing tooth smiling upon the perfect American family and Alfred had no say in the matter.

As was the case with these four Business-Stars from Arkansas 🙂 I had done this artwork for the Jan-Feb 2015 issue of the TBP magazine.  From left to right they are:

  1. Al Bell
  2. Stephen L. LaFrance Sr.
  3. Donald E. “Buddy” Wray
  4. Millie Ward

 

Mount Rushmore in Popular culture - Arkansas Business Hall of Fame - for TBP Magazine.

Now a little about this grand mountain 🙂

Mount Rushmore – Historical Facts:

  • The commissioning of Mount Rushmore National Memorial was authorized on March 3, 1925.
  • President Coolidge, then President of the United States wanted that two Republicans and one Democrat should accompany George Washington’s face on the mountain.
  • The sculpting began in 1927 and ended in 1941. It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum. The initial rough sculpting was done using dynamite.
  • At first, they tried sculpting Thomas Jefferson’s face on George Washington’s right, but the stone there wasn’t good, so they moved the face to Washington’s left.

Mount Rushmore Faces:

The four faces are:

  •  George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Abraham Lincoln

This caricaturist has caricatured two of the four faces on the monument:

1.  George Washington

Caricature, Cartoon of George Washington the first president of the US and the architect of the American Constitution voices his opinion on gun control.

President George Washington – Actual size: 8 inches by 10 inches.

 

and

2. Abraham Lincoln

Color Caricature - American President Abraham Lincoln - Digital Painting - Shafali

President Abraham Lincoln – Actual Size at 300 dpi: 12 inches by 12 inches (the above image is cropped on the sides.)

Creating the Mount Rushmore Artwork:

Honestly, it was a challenging assignment. As a portrait/caricature-artist, when you paint faces, you intuitively dip your brush (even your digital brush) into the right colors. The texture you are looking for is skin (for portraits) and skin-nish (for caricatures) and because you’ve painted so many, you know where you are going with it. In this artwork, I had to create the four likenesses in the color and texture of stone. The details had to go, if the Mount Rushmore look were to be maintained. That and everything else, including rest of the stony mountain, the debris left from the dynamiting…was a totally new experience and a challenge that left me with a lot of new learning.

I am working on another challenge right now – and will tell you about it when I can! Until then, explore my thoughts on the Creativity Carnival and if you think you’d like to participate in it at some point in time, leave your footprints behind and follow this blog, so that the first event pops up into your Reader this Friday 🙂

A Toonsie Roll Caricature of Hrithik Roshan…

…Who Goes Bang Bang this Thursday, Despite his Health Problems!

This post is the result of Hrithik’s interview that was published in today’s TOI. At the onset, I must tell you that I am not a fan of Hrithik the Bollywood Actor. In fact, I’ve seen just one movie of his (one of the Krishh’s, and I’ve forgotten which one.) And yet, now I have become one of the biggest fans of Hrithik the person behind the actor. I like brave people, and I think that bravery is an attribute of the human mind. It doesn’t depend upon anything external to a person – neither their station in life, nor their physical strength. Some people are brave, others just aren’t; they whine and cry and want the whole world to understand their problems, without ever taking the first important step, which is realizing that they are the only ones who can solve their problems and all that whining actually drives the right kind people away from them.

Caricature Hrithik Roshan - Using iOS (iPhone, iPad) caricaturing app Toonsie Roll.

( Note: The above caricature was done using Toonsie Roll – A Caricaturing/Caricature-making iPhone/iPad app.)

In my estimate, Hrithik Roshan is one of the bravest celebs that clutter our waking moments. He is someone who is an inspiration to many who battle chronic illnesses and debilitating pain. Almost all his life, he has lived with excruciating pain and with bones that broke on the slightest pretext. He has been suffering from arthritis from a very young age, and when he was a teenager, his doctors had told him that he had the skeleton of an old man. He was advised against becoming an actor. In Bollywood, you can’t be a star if you don’t dance (yes, pelting your pelvis as far as you can in all directions and gyrating on the beats of a raunchy number – stuff that is really really bad for your back); or  if you don’t do stunts (toss yourself up in the air with your limbs flailing and hitting ten goons at once)! So Hrithik, the boy with a spine that was proclaimed geriatric by the medicos shouldn’t have done any of what he did. Instead, he should’ve stayed home, watched dvds, ate potato-chips, grown corpulent, started a blog, and talked about how unfair life was.

But Hrithik did something different. He looked at the hand of cards that fate had dealt to him, figured out a strategy to beat the odds, and stayed in the game. Yes, he came from a fairly affluent family. Yes, he could get a doctor’s attention whenever he needed it. But nothing could’ve made him the star that he is today – nothing except his own determination to beat the odds.

So far, this year has been terrible for Hrithik. When he was shooting for Bang Bang, he got ill because there were blood-clots in his brain and he had to undergo a brain-surgery. His backache, his companion of 27 years, has been troubling him so much that he travels in a convoy of three cars, because he can’t sit in one position for more than 30 minutes. On the personal front, he has filed for a divorce from his wife, who he confirms, has not asked for an alimony of 400 Crs. (The amount sounded ridiculous any way,) and when the divorce is through he may lose the custody of his two sons to his wife. That’s a lot for anyone to handle – and yet he handles it all so well. The boy whose was advised not to be an actor, is the one who has made Roshans a recognized name in the Indian Film Industry.  He’s an excellent dancer, he looks muscular in his movies, he does all those stunts that movies require him to do – and I think he is able to do it because he has a beautiful mind.

He says that he always tried being a nice person, but it didn’t work, because when you try to be nice to everyone and not hurt anyone, you try to achieve the impossible and end up hurting yourself; so you must try to be a good person instead. A good person does good whenever he or she can, but doesn’t try to please everyone. I agree – totally.

So that’s that about Hrithik. I wish him the best and I hope that he continues to win the battle that he is fighting with his illnesses. Another braveheart that I want to mention here is Shubhpreet Kaur Ghumman. This post isn’t about this one-legged brave beauty, but here’s the link to her Facebook page.

I’ll be writing a set of tutorials on How to Create Caricatures with Toonsie Roll, so do return.

 

5 Sure Ways to Awaken the Dragon in a Woman!

Did you know that every woman has a dragon hidden in her belly?  She keeps that dragon drugged and chained, but men (and other women too) are capable of rousing that beast from its slumber.
Cartoon Caricature Funny images of a Woman screaming shouting at a man - angry woman.

Pen and Ink Drawing – Inspired by the Poster of “The Proposal” (Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds.)

Important Note:
I’ve listed the 5 ways here for easy reference. Please feel free to print them out for your soft board. If you need additional counseling on specific matters, or if you’ve already awakened a dragon and need some help in taming it, my email id is plastered over nearly every image that you see on this blog.
If I were a Management Guru, I’d have called these ways, “The 5 M‘s of Bringing out the Monster in a Woman,” or some other such mnemonic thing, but I am not that creative with words, so I’ll stay with numbered lists.
  1. Misunderstand
  2. Mistreat
  3. Manhandle
  4. Mistake
  5. Miscalculate
1. Misunderstand:
When you misunderstand women, you make them see the reddest of reds. Women aren’t easy to understand, I grant you that. Hey, they aren’t just deliciously enigmatic, they are super-mysterious. I mean who knows what a woman actually even looks like. Those layers of makeup – they are the veils of mystery that are lifted only be the select few they decide to share their lives with. So don’t berate yourself if you’ve been guilty of misunderstanding women. However, be prepared for the fire-spewing dragon to wake up anytime you unwittingly commit this error. Trust me, you will know when you’ve crossed the line.
Examples?
Of course.
  • The most common example comes from your making a specific rule generic. You’ve learned that when a woman says “NO” she doesn’t mean “YES.” This rule applies to all your amorous advances – this rule, rules the physical domain of the man-woman relationships; but for your own sake, don’t apply it on everything. So, when you ask a woman whether she’d like some ice cream and she says, “No, I’m watching my figure,” don’t use that outdated corny line “so am I…hee…hee” and return that wallet back to your pocket! The volcano won’t erupt yet, but Smaug is just beginning to turn in the belly of the mountain (er…the woman.)
  • When she’s given her face three coats of foundation, colored her eyelids every color of a peacock feather, and her lips look like she’s just returned from a vampire-party, and she asks you “how do I look?” trust me, she doesn’t want to hear the truth. Don’t tell her the truth. Not if you want the beast to stay happily asleep.
Mistreat: 
This, as you can surmise, is a graver crime than the one that we’ve just discussed. Unfortunately, the term “mistreat” has an expanding range of meanings – starting from not-behaving-in-a-socially-acceptable manner to being downright abusive. Being abusive is terrible and I am sure that most religions in this world would classify being abusive as a sin. Whatever enters the realm of religion, exits the realm of this caricaturist’s satire, and so I am definitely not talking about that kind of mistreatment. Instead, I am talking about simpler stuff.
Examples?
Here they are:
  • Praising another woman in front of a woman (this is any woman vs. any woman.)
  • Looking ravenously at a curvaceous woman who walks past, when you are in company of a woman you’ve supposedly pledged your heart to.
  • Not being totally tuned in when a woman talks about stuff that she believes really matters (doesn’t matter if you hold diametrically opposite views on what really matters!)
  • Not noticing her new hairdo, or nail-color.
All these are examples of Mistreatment. Note that Mistreatment is a slow-acting poison. It may not wake the beast up immediately, but it when the beast does wake up, it’ll roast your insides and feast on them.
Manhandle:
This one too has Satan’s sign on it. The worst of manhandling is domestic violence of the physical kind. That is serious matter and anyone who engages in that kind of thing should be behind bars, not surfing the Internet and visiting the blogs of crazy caricaturists. The manhandling bit I am talking about is the one that hurts the heart more than it hurts the body.
Examples?
Ok.
  • Clasp in an iron-grip, the soft hand offered to you in handshake.
  • Clap your hand over a woman’s shoulder to turn her around.
  • Throw a fake-roach or a fake-lizard, watch her scream, then roll on the ground laughing.
Terrible stuff…all of it. Tchah!
Mistake:
Never, never, never do a mistake in any of the personal stats of a woman – certainly don’t err on the…well, unsavory side. Better still, manipulate the data to her advantage. This one’s rather simple, but if you still want me to illustrate…
here are a few
examples…
  • Her birthday, your anniversary, your children’s birthdays (at least of the kids you two had together,) the date of your first meeting, the place of your first meeting, the earrings that you gifted her 10 years ago, but she never wore them until today… you’ve got to recognize them right away!
  • And then there’s data that you know by heart, but that you must never present in its raw form. In fact, some basic math could be very helpful. So if she’s 51, train yourself to remember that she’s merely 45, and then train yourself some more to tell her that she looks better than all those women in their thirties. If she measures 40 inches at waist, you never noticed it – you still remember the data that you had stored when you had first begun dating. You never overwrote any of it. She still measures 26 at her waist – and when she disagrees, tell her that you don’t feel the difference, because you love her so much.
Miscalculate:
Men often miscalculate everything about women. Sometimes, only sometimes, women deliberately lead them into such miscalculations; but more often than not, it’s something that men train themselves to believe. What looks small and fragile, must be small and fragile. Women can pack quite a punch when they want to – but usually they don’t want to. They prefer to keep the notion of fragility alive. I mean who doesn’t want to be pampered and who wouldn’t want to have someone else do some work that they wouldn’t do unless their superiority complex was awakened.
For men, it’s a good idea to realize that women aren’t weak and most women are smarter than they are. I’ve seen women in my own and my -iL family twist the men of the family around their little fingers – in fact, if these couples are like two wheels of a motorcycle, the women wheels are the ones connected to the steering wheel.
Examples?
Sure.
  • Never threaten to leave her – She is adaptable, she’ll survive; the question is – will you?
  • The money? You blew it and then tried hoodwinking her? She’ll know. If that fuse blows, you must know it did, not because you blew the money, but because you insulted her intelligence.
And now, I must stop spilling these secrets. Most women I’ve known in my life don’t really like me… but then the US Government doesn’t like Julian Assange either!

Hacked Nude Celebrity Photos are more Viral than Ebola says CBS.

There’s no denying that Ebola‘s accelerating spread is a huge concern for humanity, and yet, there’s another virus in the air, one that’s been multiplying at a rate that is exponentially greater than that of Ebola. It’s called the Celebrity Nudes Virus (CNV).

According to CBS*,

The Celebrity Nudes Virus has by now spread to all the countries of the world, and the number of people infected by this virus doubles every hour. Accordingly to statistics that have been laboriously collected, classified and sifted, every man infected by this virus can potentially infect 6 others, in a matter of seconds. It has also been reported that 5 out of 6 people who get infected, are males.

Symptoms of the Celebrity Nudes Viral (CNV) Infection include:

  1. Lolling tongues and galloping heartbeats.
  2. A strong tendency to find isolated spots.
  3. A strong tendency to look over the shoulder while checking emails.
  4. Heightened creativity resulting in Celebrity Nudes Search words.
  5. Shortened attention-spans.
  6. A heartfelt feeling of gratitude for the man who started it all, affectionately called the hacker.

The man who unleashed this virus on the Internet claims that he did it for money. And yet, the poor devil, the man with a zillion dreams of a billion dollars got a measly $120 for his labors…and if we should believe him…for his investment.

This man, who CBS* has nicknamed “Father of the Celeb-nude Virus” has hacked into the iCloud accounts of 100 celebrities, including Rihanna, Kristen Dunst, and Selena Gomez, and despite the financial setback, he has no intentions of stopping. “The FBI,” he says, “is a minor inconvenience.”

Search Strings that are being used to find those Hacked Celebrity Nudes.

Following are some of the search-strings that the infected group of people have so creatively come up with.

  • where are the hacked nude pictures on the web
  • icloud nude celeb images posted
  • stolen nude celebrity pics
  • view stolen celebrity icloud photos online
  • nude celebrity photos stolen online
  • posted stolen celeb photos
  • hacked nude celebrity pictures
  • hacked cloud accounts nude pictures
  • i want to see icloud hacked nude pic 2014
  • leaked 100 celebrities nude  images on internet
  • and so on…
  • and so forth!

Search terms such as these abound, despite the celebrities issuing statements on moral grounds. They’ve been condemning people who view these leaked pictures as participating thieves, because they are viewing stolen goods. CBS* spokeswoman Shafali says:

“I understand their concern. Hacking nude celebrity pictures is akin to plagiarism in the art/literary circles. The person who created the content must be fairly compensated for its use. Now that those nudes are already out there, nobody is going to want to pay to view them – so what could’ve been on the front-page of Rolling Stone or GQ and would’ve justly made the celebs and their retinues some moolah, has now resulted in $1.20 per celeb for the hacker. It’s terribly unfair to the celebrities, I suppose; but what hurts me more, is the erosion of  the value of those pictures, which in fact, is also an insult to the celebrities in question.”

Most celebrities aren’t ticked off because their nudes went online – they’d love to have those pictures on the covers or the center-spreads of magazines. Just click the following link to view some nude celebrity pictures that have been shared with totally value-driven willingness, and hence puts the viewer on the right side of the ethics debate. In fact, the latest celeb to go nude for GQ is Kim Kardashian!

Miley Cyrus on Rolling Stones, Jake and Anne on Entertainment Weekly,Katy Perry on Esquire, Kim Kardashian on W, Johnny Depp on GQ (well, not exactly, but the link has him on.

The Online Media Chooses: Celebrity Nudes Virus vs. Ebola – A Google Search Infographic.

(No prizes for guessing the right answer.)

The Celebrity Nudes Virus is indubitably more contagious of the two viruses. Even Google works faster to find Celeb Nude Photos than it does to find pages that talk about Ebola. Please check the encircled statistics.

hacked celebrity nude pictures vitality info graphic for google searches.

I rest my case.

In another, unrelated, unsourced news byte, CBS* has come under heavy criticism for attempting to milk the celebrity nudes scandal for their blog. The CBS spokeswoman made the following statement:

“We are in the business of creating caricatures and exaggerating deviations. We believe that the ridiculousness of the celebrity nude pictures hacking scandal has to be recorded for posterity. We are just a tiny spoke, a small blog in the scandal-mongering hinterlands of the World Wide Web. We believe that we are doing the right thing.”

CBS*: Caricatures by Shafali

Pran – The Creator of Chacha Chaudhary and Shrimati Ji (1938-2014) – Memories of a brush with his Work.

I am writing this post in honor of Pran, the artist who gave India its own super-hero. At the onset, I confess that as a child, I didn’t appreciate his work; I also confess that today, when he is no more and when finally my daily newspaper decided to publish his interview (given to Alok Sharma in 2009,) I appreciate all that he did and understand why his work has a historical significance.

In these moments of realization, I sketched his portrait.

cartoonist-pran-portrait-sketch-of-the-comic-artist-creator-chacha-chaudhary-shrimatiji-saboo

Pran – The Creator of the Comic Strips, Chacha Chawdhary and Shrimati Ji. (1938-2014) R. I. P.

 

Pran was born in 1938, in Kasur, which is now in Pakistan. Like many others who had to leave their home, their occupation, their land, and their way of life, and move to India; Pran arrived in India as a nine year-old son of a family that had to start their life from scratch. He liked to draw, but in the India of those days art could only be a pastime of the kings and the nobles; obviously his parents were against the idea of Pran becoming an artist.

Before I recant his story further, let me draw a picture of those times for you. Pran must have been about twenty or so when he began sending his cartoons to magazines and newspapers. So we are taking about late-fifties. That was the time of no Internet, no computers, and no Photocopiers. All that was available was carbon paper. In all probability, when Pran sent his work to the editors, he either redrew the cartoons entirely, or he put a couple of carbons underneath the master to create copies. He could obviously not trace more than three copies in a row, because the lower-most copies in the stack would become dull and useless. So he must’ve tediously gone through the process of tracing them again and again; or worse drawing them again and again.

I salute his hard work and his dedication towards his work. Those of us who crab about how difficult things are for an artist (include me among them,) must be ashamed of ourselves. True, there was hardly any competition back then, but remember that artists like Pran had to break new grounds. In his interview, he recalls how he met the editor of Dharmayug, Mr. Dharamveer Bharti, and convinced him of running cartoons to supplement the poems that the magazine published. Guess what. Mr. Bharti gave him a chance, and his work accompanied the poetry of some great Hindi poets such as Dinkar, Nirala, and Pant .

And yet, his biggest gift to India was Chacha Chaudhary. He looked at the western comic heroes and thought that the Indian kid must have an Indian hero. Indians aren’t big and muscular, he thought, they aren’t all that good-looking either; but they are super-smart. So he created Chacha Chaudhary, the old turbaned man with a frayed-toothbrush mustache, who was small in stature, but who was the wisest and the smartest guy in the neighborhood. Chacha Chaudhary was the Indian male and relatively active counterpart of Miss Marple, who solved all kinds of crimes – small and big.

Chacha Chaudhary was my first brush with Pran’s work. I was nine, and totally in love with Amar Chitra Katha and Indrajal comics. I was shortly going step into teenage and  fall in love with Bahadur (character conceptualized by Abid Surti and illustrated by Govind Brahmania), but I hadn’t met that dashing young man until then. We were taking a train home, and one of my uncles bought me a couple of comics at the railway station. As is always the case, the child is never consulted about what he, especially she would like to read. So I ended up with a Chacha Chaudhary and if I remember right, a Lot-pot. My father saw that I had a couple of comic books in my hand, so he skipped buying me more, which meant that I was saddled with two comics that I had never read before and that, in this odd child’s opinion, had somewhat uninspiring covers. I was a kid who loved mythology and who loved beautifully drawn pictures; who’d not let my father buy an Amar Chitra Katha that didn’t have a specific kind of nice looking drawings (which I later discovered were all done by Pratap Mullick.) So, the comics were hastily flipped through; and then I demanded my kind of comics. A nine-year-old can be very persistent – so on the next big station, I got what I wanted, and the two almost unread comics were promptly seized by the other kids in the train compartment.

But the point is…
all those other kids devoured those comics and from the looks on their faces, savored them too. I still remember the scene, and also the twinge that I felt…I wanted the comics back – but that couldn’t have happened. What was given away was given away. I never read another comic by Pran, except of course, the comic strip Shrimati Ji that appeared in Sarita, that my mom used to subscribe to. And yet, I kept seeing Chacha Chawdhary on the stalls and in the hands of kids everywhere. That’s what Pran achieved; and that’s what makes him great – he reached kids. Only a handful of snotty kids like me preferred the heavily illustrated stuff; only a handful of us were left out when a conversation about Chacha Chaudhary and Saboo broke out. Then there were Pinki, and Billoo, and Rocket…but I never met them. Now I wish I had.

Today, Pran is no more. He succumbed to cancer. He continued to draw through his illness. He continued to bring a smile to the faces of Indian children – with his comics and later with the Chacha Chawdhry TV show.

Today, I understand his work, his strength, his will, and his love for the art of creating happiness. May his soul rest in peace. May his characters live forever.

Pran’s Facebook Page.

Another Tryst with Color Pencils – A Beautiful Witch with Hypnotic Eyes Emerges.

Those pencils had been languishing in my desk drawers for a whole year. I wouldn’t have bothered with them, had I not gone to the stationery shop to buy pens for my pen & ink drawings. I had ordered some pens, and the shop-owner had called up to tell me that they had arrived. So yesterday, I went to the shop to pick them up.

Every artist knows how addicting these shops can be. Sketchbooks, notebooks, canvas-pads, diaries, drawing-boards, pencils, pens, brushes, colors, paints…I could go on and on…and still not finish the list. The point is that the way the stereotypical woman is addicted to showrooms that are stocked with clothes, shoes, and makeup material; the stereotypical artist is addicted to a stationery shop.

Let me cut a long yarn short and tell you that the pens that I had ordered were ready, and I should have just paid for them, taken them, and left. Instead, I got hooked. I checked out their paper inventory, their notebooks/sketchbooks inventory, and then I came to a stop right in front of the shelves that held the color pencils!

Color Pencils! I had bought a stash last year!

The rest, honestly, is a blur.

All I wanted to do was reach home and get those pencils out and start drawing.

This is what I drew.

The Beautiful Witch - 12" x 16" - Done with Derwent Watercolor pencils (without water)

The Beautiful Witch – 12″ x 16″ Cartridge Sheet – Done with Derwent Watercolor pencils (without water)

 

The head-dress, I admit, is a little odd…a feather, a lace-edged fan sort of thing (a collar from an old ragged dress worn as a head-ornament), a feather, a colorful rag around her head. Why would a beautiful woman choose to wear something as unfashionable as that? Before you admonish me for the strange headdress, allow me to defend myself.

The headdress is odd, because I wasn’t really thinking. I just wanted to try out the pencils and see how I could blend the colors. I learned that the blending was terrible and that I might have to check out the Pastels when I went to the stationery store the next time.

I do like the eyes. They rivet you. I like the underbite too. It makes her look witch-like in a subtle but intelligent way. It amuses me to think how even the slightest of underbite can change the whole expression – how it can turn a smile into a smirk.

I’m not satisfied with the look, the texture, and the brightness of the colors; but I post this to record my experiments with color-pencils. Note that though I used Derwent Watercolor pencils to draw with, I didn’t use water on the image. The application of water could brighten it up by heightening the contrast, but I just wanted the dry pencil look.

More on this later…when I suffer the next bout of color-pencil inspiration.

Meanwhile, if you want to meet someone who simply loves color pencils, meet Creative Barbwire 🙂

Stealing is stealing! Period. Don’t disguise Plagiarism as Appreciation.

This post is about creative effort. It’s about the ownership of content. It’s about calling a spade a spade and a thief a thief.

This post has been triggered by my friend Barb’s post here.

Artists, writers, music-composers – all those who earn their living through creative effort have felt the pain of their work being stolen. There was a time when I used to wonder why otherwise “honest” people are quick to steal the creative work of their fellow-beings; why people who’d never, not even in their dreams, steal a watch, a cellphone, a diamond ring, or money – would quite readily pounce upon creative content and present it as their own. But that was another time, another era. Since then, through many such misfortunes of my own, I’ve discovered why.

 

Why People Steal Creative Work?

I’ve realized that there are three main reasons why people steal creative work (an act that’s euphemistically called Plagiarism.)

1. The Quality of Creative Work is Subjective.

 I may say that James Bama or James Christensen are better artists than M.F. Hussein or Andy Warhol, but there are hundreds of thousands out there who’d verbally slash me into ribbons for saying so – and they’d have a more objective reason to counter me – the quantum of commercial success.

When quality of the output is subjective, everyone wants to be there and do that. And people who steal aren’t really the connoisseurs – they are those who just assume that all art is equal and available in abundance, and that if they steal an artwork, they are in fact, putting their stamp of approval on the artist. In fact, they presume that artists must be grateful for the attention.

2. Artists don’t/can’t fight back.

They don’t because the environment has trained them to be at the receiving end, just the way others are trained to think of artists as good-for-nothing bums who are just waiting for someone to notice their work and drop a penny in their bowl. They can’t because most artists whose work gets stolen are not famous and rich yet – and so they don’t have the means to drag the thieves to the court and make them pay. Have you ever heard a famous singer’s work being plagiarized in his or her own country? It doesn’t happen. But across borders, the thieves find their nerve, because law is often biased to favor the citizens of that country. And so the cross-border art-thieves are safe.

3. Copying isn’t Stealing!

In some cultures, copying isn’t stealing. Parents help the children trace, they help the children by drawing/writing for them, they even help the children change a few lines here and there so that the artwork appears to have been drawn by the child. The child grows up with the belief that copying isn’t stealing. Unfortunately, in art, in music, and in literature; IT IS! Rote learning is, in a way, learning to copy and learning to accept that copying is moral and legal. When a fourteen-year old learns an explanation of a passage by rote and regurgitates it on his examination answer sheet, only to get a perfect score, he also learns that creativity is crap.

Three Examples of Creative Work being Stolen

Stuff has been stolen from me all my life. Some of the things were material and I don’t recall most of them, but some were created with my sweat and pain, and I remember all those quite well.

Among many  such robberies that shredded my faith in the integrity of my fellow human-beings, here are three such incidents – going backwards in time.

1. Cross-border Stealing

Some months ago, I got an email from a German gentleman who preferred to stay anonymous. He told me that a studio in Germany was stripping my credentials from my caricatures and presenting them as their samples to generate business. They even had a Facebook Page for it. I tried to harness the power of social media to stop the studio from doing so. Of my 50 or so Artist friends, none responded. They didn’t want to fight back. (Point 2 in the first list.)

One of my artist friends once remarked that we shouldn’t waste our energy on trying to stop the scum from stealing, instead, we should focus on creating. I’d like to ask the artists who believe that there’s no need to fight back – if someone stole their car, would they be as willing to step back and let the thief have it, as they would if someone stole their art?

Stripping a creative work of the credit and using it – is stealing. Period.

2. Within-borders Stealing

A little more than a year ago, one of the most prominent newspapers here (this publication also happens to be one of the largest circulated English daily newspapers of the world) , carried a caricature that I had done three years ago. My credit, my signature, all neatly cropped off. It was presented in a manner that it cast the impression of having been created by one of the caricaturists that caricatured the guests at a restaurant featured in the newspaper. It didn’t just hurt me, it also hurt all those who went to the restaurant hoping to get a caricature in the style and quality that was mine. But that shouldn’t hurt me, right? After all, who am I to say that the caricaturists hired by the restaurant at possibly a measly $10 an hour weren’t better than me? Remember point 1 in the first list? The quality of creative work is subjective.

I wrote to the editor…she sweet-talked, then she tried to pin the responsibility on a junior editor, next on an external party – never once apologizing. I was willing to let the matter go, she only had to accept and apologize. So I gave up and wrote to the Managing Director of the Publishing House. I never got an apology, but those I know in there, told me that she did get pulled up for it.

Not apologizing doesn’t mean that it wasn’t stealing. It was, and it will remain. Period.

3. Stealing from a Child

When I was in eight-grade, I used to draw pictures (generally, figures with decorative borders) and sometimes leave them between the pages of my books. A teacher, let’s call her SB (those are her actual initials,) borrowed my book so that she could ask us to read the passages from the book. From my place on the first bench, I saw her open the book and surreptitiously drop that sketch in her desk drawer; my friend saw it too. I felt sad, because it was a rather nice sketch and I wanted to go home and show it to my father. Nobody said anything, but the whole class knew that our teacher was a thief and she stole from the kids.

People who tried rationalizing this for me, told me that she did this because she liked my work, and that I should take it as a compliment.

So, if you like someone’s wife, steal her, because you are just paying a compliment to the man.
If you like someone’s pen, pilfer it, because you are merely expressing your appreciation for the pen.

You won’t.
Because your morality tells you that it’s not right. Because you know, that you cannot clad the act in the cloak of appreciation.

In truth, when my teacher took my drawing without asking me, she stole. Period.
In truth, when you take a creative work and make it look like you did it, you steal. Period.

I know you won’t.
Because you know that it’s immoral. It’s like saying that you fathered another man’s child. You wouldn’t do it. Would you?

So my dear otherwise honest friends, if you want an image for a non-commercial purpose, request permission from the artist. If you want to use it commercially, pay for it. It’s that simple, really 🙂  

 

The Happy Hobo – Happiness is a State of Mind :: A Caricature for the Heart.

Happy Hobo - Caricature, Cartoon, Artwork, Drawing, Poster on Happiness and Spirituality.

Happiness is a State of Mind – The Happy Hobo – 7.5 inches by 11 inches. (All Rights Reserved.) Available for Licensing.

Angela Merkel wins the 2013 Elections to become Chancellor Once Again!

Congratulations Germany!

Angela Merkel has won her third term as the Chancellor of Germany.

Now this a really something, isn’t it?

Here’s her caricature for the occasion 🙂

Caricature Cartoon of Angela Merkel who won the 2013 German Elections to become Chancellor for the third time in succession.

Angela Merkel as the Chancellor of Germany. Digital Painting – Photoshop CS 6 (Print Size: 12 inches by 14 inches.)

That is all for now…and oh, I should mention that Mutti’s re-election has breathed life into another story-caricature of mine (this one is on Euro zone.)

🙂

Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 4 – How to Draw Cartoon Eyes.

This post discusses the how and why of cartooning the eye.

While this post presents the essence of Chapter 5, it stands alone and doesn’t directly draw upon your learning from the previous chapters, except in on place, where I’ve added a relevant link.

The four images that I am adding here are almost self-explanatory, so I am going to keep the text to a minimum.

Importance of the Cartoon Eye

Cartoon eyes?

Well, two dots should suffice, shouldn’t they?

Guess they should, if you know what to do with those dots, because if you really want to draw cool cartoons, you need to go beyond the stick-figures and cookie-faced smilies (unless of course your mind-space is dominated by the conceptualizer.)

But I am serious when I ask you to stretch, squeeze, and twist the two dots of the eyes to make your cartoon characters come alive. Eyes are by and far the most important feature on the face of any creature (animals and humans alike.) They express. Period.

Please ref to Chapter 5 – Fig 1 below, where I present my case.

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons - Importance of the eyes in cartoons.

The Uber-complex Structure of the Human Eye

The human eye is complex, and I am not talking about the internals of the eye. If I were talking about caricaturing the eye, I’d probably tell you stuff like “eye is spherical,” “the eyeball’s curvature is slightly different from that of the iris’…”, etc., but because cartooning requires that we simplify, why not begin by simplifying our learning, and focusing only on stuff that will impact our cartoons.

In the following image (Chapter 5 – fig: 2 for future reference,) you can see the simplistic structure of the human eye. It still is complex…but you don’t have to remember it all – just observe and move on.

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons - Structure of the human eye - a Cartoonist's Perspective.

Simplifying the Eye

Now let us start simplifying the structure of the eye. Note that the moment we sacrifice any of the 8 basic elements of the human eye, we arrive in the realm of cartooning. Let us see how we can simplify the eye by removing each of the elements, until we are left with just the dot. Also note how life continues to fade out of the eye as we keep reducing the elements.

The decision of simplicity vs. complexity has to be taken in view of our need to capture and transmit the cartoon character’s emotions through its expressions. Practically, concerns such as the actual size of the drawing, the number of characters in it, (perhaps even the effort you can spare for your cartooning assignment,)  will influence your decision-making. The more complex you want your drawings to be, the more space you need to bring them to life.

The following figure (Chapter 5 – fig: 3) shows you a Cartoon look vs. Details graph that will help you understand the above rambles.

Note: The first statement refers to the definition of a Cartoon from Chapter 1 of the book. 

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons -Simplifying the human eyes to draw the cartoon eyes.

Some Cartoon Eyes

Here are some cartoon eyes. In the second row these eyes are coupled with their respective brows. The brows and the eyes work as a couple and help us accentuate the expressions.

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons-Some Cartoon eyes - expressions through brows

Chapter 5 has more on the eyes, so I am not concluding it here with a Chapter End-Note. I will soon making a couple of posts on how to cartoon the human face.

Cartoon of a Delhi Girl… all buttoned up!

I always thought that my fashion sense left a lot to be desired, but then this lady who entertained the whole male and the cartoonist female population of the Delhi Metro about a week ago, gave me a superiority complex.

Now anyone who knows anything about EZs (erogenous zones) would not have designed those trousers, unless they were meant to do a specific job, which is flag down people looking for a specific kind of…should we say, gratification? While a tiny pattern on the fly would be a subtle use of EZs, those three huge Mother-of-Pearl buttons glowed like a neon signboard that screamed for attention. “Look here. NOW!”

Here’s the lady whose buttons forced me to draw her. Note that the exaggerations are minimal.

cartoon pen and ink drawing of delhi girl with huge buttons on her fly - texting away on the metro.

All Buttoned up!

The story of these EZ-flaunting dresses begins with those aesthetics-challenged dress-designers who bunked their fashion design classes, and who let their erogenous designs loose on Janpath (the fashion-mecca for exploding lower middle class of Delhi.) These EZ-highlighting designs are then picked up by the young girls who’ve just arrived in the city of their dreams, and who want to get that hep Delhi Girl look asap.

This lady, however, has only worn a pair of trousers that would make men get fixated on her…well, buttons. I’d put it only a notch above tight belly button displaying tank-tops, or the low-rise, edge-of-panty on display, denims. In fact, I found myself appreciating this lady’s no-nonsense, direct, and to-the-point approach of directing the viewer’s attention to stuff that really matters.

Another lady whose cartoon will not be published here (because this is a family blog,) would win the “Accident-Causers of Delhi crown” without batting an eyelash. She too made me think better of myself. You see, I am very, very, very absent-minded – but I’ve never gone shopping without wearing a lower garment!

50 pairs of eyes that were anchored to their delectable target, had helped me spot this lady in one of the busiest markets in Delhi. Men of all ages and callings had their eyes fixed on the rump of a young woman wearing a canary yellow shirt that barely covered her posterior assets. As she swung her hips, a flash of black confirmed that she had her panties on (I confess, I had my doubts.)

I saw people slowing down their bikes and cars to get a better look; I saw even women doing a double-take because they couldn’t believe their eyes, and to put the icing on the cake, I also saw the happy-as-a-pup-with-an-icecream-tub guard who had the opportunity to get a close-up view because the absent-minded lady who had forgotten her lower garment home, decided to go into a shop that was on the first floor. May God bless that yellow canary whose bottom brought so much happiness to everyone in that market.

But then there’s an underside to everything – a dark cloud with every silver lining. That day, people did bump into one another and I suppose some bikers did too. I’m sure that if our canary had displayed her assets on a busy road, she’d have dispatched a few to their permanent abodes in heaven.

Delhi indeed is a dangerous city!

– Reporting from Delhi,

The Caricaturist.

Caricature/Cartoon – Anthony Weiner Pole-dances to Campaign for 2013 NYC Mayoral Elections – Ref: Weinergate

Presenting the caricature of Mr. Anthony Weiner, the most popular Democratic candidate in the Mayoral race of New York City.

The Poll (Pole) Dance!

Caricature, Cartoon, Comic, Poster of Anthony Weiner (Weinergate) Pole-dance New York NYC Mayoral Elections 2013

The Weinergate Scandal:

Slightly more than an year ago, Anthony Weiner became internationally famous for dropping his pants and tweeting the picture of his burgeoning underwear to impress a young woman. Whether the lady in question was suitably impressed or not, is something that only she can tell, but Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011.

A Teeny-Weeny Bit about Weiner:

Weiner studied Political Science and began working in 1985. He must’ve used his knowledge of Politics to the right effect, because in 1992, he became the youngest Councilman of New York at the age of 27. From 92 to 98, he worked to make New York a safer city. His political career was on an upward swing until May 27, 2011 when he tweeted his famous underwear picture to one of his young women followers. The point to note here is that he tweeted that “exotic” picture when his marriage to Huma Abedin, the personal aide and almost-daughter of Hillary Clinton , was about 10 months old, and his wife was about six months pregnant with his son Jordan.

About Anthony Weiner’s Pole-dancing Caricature:

I was inspired to draw this caricature when I realized that Mr. Weiner isn’t giving up and is still in the race for becoming New York’s Mayor. The guy has spunk, I said to myself, and promptly sketched him in my notebook. The concept is simple. He’s pole-dancing for his voters – wearing the same underwear that he was wearing when he pointed the camera to his crotch and took that awesome picture. He’s also wearing a tie – because being the mayoral candidate he must; he’s wearing a formal jacket, because he must be feeling cold with his trousers off, and he’s wearing formal leather shoes, because he needs to do a lot of leg-work to get where he is going. Don’t miss the little blue bird that tells us that Weiner’s back on Twitter.

So why did Weiner Tweet that cute little picture of his weiner?

Possible Reasons:

  • The first thing and the last thing that Weiner thinks about on any given day is his name, which automatically leads him to obsess about his underwear-clad asset.
  • Ms. Abedin called him by a name that he didn’t appreciate, and he wanted to get back at her.
  • The young lady to whom he tweeted was teasing him, “Weeny…W….” and he wanted to prove her wrong.
  • He wanted a media blitz to precede his election campaign and he thought that Weinergate will etch his name in the public memory forever.

Important note:

Through comparisons with various brands, it has been established, although “not with certitude”, that through his pictorial tweet Weiner was advertising for a leading underwear brand Jockey.

Other Weiner Stuff:

According to a poll, Anthony Weiner is winning the New York City Mayor Race.
His wife is supporting his Mayoral bid – and she says she loves him – nice pictures or no nice pictures.

This reminds me to tell you about the fictional conversation between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin (remember that Hillary thinks that after Chelsea, Huma could’ve been her daughter.)

The Conversation between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Weinergate:

Huma: What’s with these men? Why do they keep dropping their pants?
Hillary (lets out a long sigh): I’ve stopped thinking about it. It’s not important.
Huma: But it happened with you too. Thankfully Bill was smart enough to do it in the privacy of his office.
Hillary: I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Huma: Are you referring to Tony’s picture?
Hillary: No my dear, I am referring to your reaction to this little ripple…
Huma: You are referring to his picture, aren’t you?
Hillary: Actually, I could be. But listen, he didn’t go visit all those places, did he? He was merely showing off his wares.
Huma: Isn’t that bad enough? Only because I was busy here – working out your itineraries…
Hillary: Forget it all and tell him that you stand by his side. Remember the time when that witch Monica Lewinsky told everyone about the lewd stuff she did with Bill?
Huma: So?
Hillary: I stood by his side. I told everyone that I cared for him regardless of whatever he did. Those masses out there, they are sucker for all this emotional wifely stuff. And now I may be the next President of the United States.
Huma: You’ve got a point.
Hillary: A valid point. Gun for the oval office, kid – and start now!

And so Huma started 🙂

Here’s a closer-up view of the face for an end-note.

Anthony Weiner - Cartoon with Twitter bird - Face Details from Pole-dance Poster (Weinergate and NYC Mayoral Elections)

How to Stop Dreaming and Start Drawing – 5 Golden Tips!

Some of us would like to draw…others draw.

What is the difference?

I think the main difference lies in our attitude towards drawing. Those who would like to draw can easily swim to the other side and become someone who draws, and trust me, it isn’t all the difficult. Yet there are many who look at the drawings done by others only to sigh wistfully with longing. Who would like to draw, but who think that drawing is some sort of rocket-science (forgive the cliché, but it fits… and to use another cliché, I am not going to reinvent the wheel if I have ready access to a wheel that fits the chariot of my thoughts.) Actually, in the beginning – drawing is quite like driving or cycling…you practice it to perfect it. Once you’ve perfected those lines, then it becomes a vehicle of your innovative ideas; then your work transforms into art.

The first thing to do, as you can see, is to perfect the skill.

Here’s a short To-do list for everyone who wants to acquire the skill of drawing 🙂

1. Always be Prepared to Draw!

What this means is that there should be no place or time when you shouldn’t have the basic drawing material with you. An artist is always ready to draw. While most people prefer to fill their leisure hours with activities such as watching television, chatting up with friends, reading a novel, and so on and so forth; and artist prefers to draw, and to draw he or she must have the drawing material ready.

Here are the possible places where you can put your rough-sketchbook/notebook and a pencil/pen.

1. In the kitchen
2. In your car
3. In your living room (preferably next to the television)
4. In your office-cabinet
5. In your back-pack/brief-case/carry-all women’s handbag
6. Near your bed
7. Perhaps even in your bathroom if you spend a lot of time on that seat (Before you ask, I don’t have one on the magazine rack in my bathroom, but I have a strong intuition that many artists do.)

So, make sure that you are always prepared to draw. No matter where you are.

2. When you draw, just draw, don’t analyze!

You must draw. In the beginning, the lines will form tediously – they’ll squiggle, wriggle, dance, and jump. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone and with practice everyone grows out of it. If we’d still walk the way we did when we were just learning to lift our butts off the floor, we’d move like drunken zombies – but we don’t. Because we learned. And we learned through practice. So, just draw. Let that pencil become your friend.

What if a snooping friend of yours checks out your precious treasure of funny looking drawings?

Challenge them to draw better than you do. If someone is criticizing you for something, he or she should either be better than you are (and then you must take the criticism as directional feedback,) or shut up.

So draw.

Combine 1 and 2 to get, draw anytime, anywhere.

3. Don’t let curious onlookers stop you from drawing.

People are funny. They think that only witches, wizards, and other sorts of magical beings can draw, and so when they see you drawing in a restaurant, or in a train, or in a park, they stop to look. Perhaps they don’t have anything better to do, unlike you who has something…so feel sorry for them, recite a short prayer for the poor misguided, bored-with-their-lives souls,  “they stand here and watch because they can’t draw… Dear God, give them this day, something more useful to do,”) and  continue. In a few months from now, you’ll be accomplished at drawing stuff – and now when they stop to watch you, they’ll gasp at your work and tell you that you are really talented.

4. Remember that Drawing has nothing to do with Art-Supplies!

Don’t worry about the types of pens, pencils, brushes, colors, paints that you should use to draw. Also don’t worry about the types of paper, canvas, other surfaces that must be used to get that oh-so-nice effect. Effects are effects, drawing talent is drawing talent. Once you’ve practiced enough, you’ll be able to work with any material with ease. So, use what’s easiest for you to lay your hands upon.

Some of my best drawings are done on Xerox paper with an HB clutch-pencil, and most of my doodle-cartoons are done using whichever pen I was holding at the time when inspiration struck. Art-supplies and art-material would bother you only when you begin to draw professionally. For about six-months to a year, draw with anything on anything.

5. Tell yourself – Practice Leads to Perfection

You can walk, run, even run up a staircase, with a perfect-10 perfection – and you can do it because you’ve practiced it long enough and consistently enough.Drawing is no different. Practice is your best bet. Don’t begin, then stop, then start again only to stop… Draw everyday…and then one day, you’ll wake up and an inner voice will confirm that you indeed can draw 🙂 When that day arrives, you’ll stop waiting for approval from others – you would have got the most important approval – from the most important source – your inner voice.

So if you are interested, pick up a pencil stub, find a scrap of paper  and start drawing 🙂

Turning over a new leaf…Spring brings color to this blog :)

My dear valued visitor,

If you have been here before, you might be wondering whether you’ve arrived at the right address. I assure you that  you have. While I’ve made a few changes to its look, but underneath it’s still the same. Nothing has changed, except that I’ve tried to make it easier for you to find my caricatures (new ones are coming…) and that I’ve taken off a few other pages from the menu.

 

A Snapshot of the Changes…

“Cool Caricaturists” will return on the sidebar, “The Evolution of the Caricaturist” can be accessed from the sidebar even now, and a couple of other pages have been renamed. My eBooks (sadly only two so far) are primarily satire and so they find a place under “Satire“. “The Time Machine” page is no longer there on the top menu but it’s available through the side-bar (yep! the avuncular looking gentleman with those soda-cap glasses.) The Gallery remains open 24×7 – accessible from the top- and the side-bars.

I’ve also updated the “About” page. This page used to be about a paragraph long earlier, and it led some of my visitors to share the observation that I am pretty stingy about sharing who I am. That isn’t true anymore for almost every important bit about this crazy caricaturist can now be found on the page. If your curiosity is piqued enough, check it out !

I’ve made some really cool caricatures (Hey, don’t give me that look. Every artist thinks that every squiggly that he’s ever drawn is cool.) I’ll soon share them here. (Now you know why I’ve renovated the site – it’s to welcome those brand-new caricatures!)

Bye then…I’ll see you again and soon 🙂

Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 3 – How to Draw Cartoons – Can YOU become a cartoonist?

As this post refers to content that’s covered in the two previous posts of this series, it is recommended that you begin by reading them in sequence:)

Read the two previous posts of Chapter 1:

  1. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 1 – How to Draw Cartoons – Introduction, Working Definition, and Three Examples.
  2. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 2 – How to Draw Cartoons – The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon.

This post helps you answer the question – Can YOU become a cartoonist?

This question is contextual, and the context is that of your current abilities. Here’s a continuum that you must find your place on.

The Evolution of a Cartoonist - A Book on How to Draw Cartoons - Chapter 1, Fig 1 - Conceptualizer vs. Illustrator

If you are like the guy at the right, you are worried about expressing your ideas in a visual form. However, if you can identify with the guy at the left, you can draw and illustrate but you worry about finding the right ideas.

The Stronger-half of a Cartoonist – The Conceptualizer

If you are an idea-generation machine but you feel constrained by you drawing abilities, you need to pick up some basic cartoon-drawing skills that can help you do “a relatively simplistic and sometimes exaggerated visual portrayal” of the many ideas that keep rushing in and out of your minds, so that you may capture them into an awesome cartoon. However, if you feel that you are Mr./Ms. Ideo (represented by the day-dreaming gentleman in figure 2 below) – and that no matter how you wield that pencil, you can do no better than create a squiggly, you may want to team-up with an artist, who can  create a picture that goes with your ideas…or perhaps, you could learn to create ultra-simplistic, Dilbert-Style cartoons that can speak your mind.

Mr./Ms. Ideo (The Conceptualizer in the following figure.) needs a visual medium of expression that can be used to capture those ideas that will grow wings and fly away, if they aren’t caught and trained.

The Evolution of a Cartoonist -A Book on How to Draw Cartoons - Chapter 1, Fig 2 - The Stronger Half of a Cartoonist - The Conceptualizer

The Fairer-half of a Cartoonist – The Illustrator

If you have placed yourself on the right side of this continuum, you must learn not only to generate ideas, but also train yourself on keeping them.  I’ve gone through the learning-to-generate-ideas phases, and I must tell you that it isn’t easy. However, if you are like Mr./Ms. Arto ( represented by the horrendously dressed, lip-smacking (!) gentleman in figure 3 below) you might find that you require considerable practice to ensure that you find your ideas and keep them too. Perhaps a helping hand from a friend who has a fertile mind, could help. Yet if you teamed up right, you could end up creating fantastic cartoons to delight your readers.

Mr./Ms. Arto (The Illustrator in the following figure) can draw, but he faces issues in finding the right ideas and visualizing them in a way that fits them into the cartooning mold.

The Evolution of a Cartoonist -A Book on How to Draw Cartoons - Chapter 1, Fig 2 - The Fairer-Half of a Cartoonist - The Illustrator

End Note for Chapter 1

(This end note is for those bright individuals, who think that they aren’t cartoonists and so they mustn’t create cartoons – and who identify themselves better with Mr./Ms. Ideo, I must mention the Johari window here, which speaks of the “Unknown Room”. Perhaps a comic post on the Johari Window is due on this blog, but for the time-being, it should suffice you to know that the Unknown Quadrant of the Johari Window, now called the Unknown Room, refers to your traits and skills that nobody know anything about, but they exist.

My advice here is that because you nor anyone else knows that they exist, just assume that they do (with due apologies to Mr. Joseph Luft (Jo) and Mr. Harrington Ingham (Hari) this is how the twisty logic of this caricaturist interprets it.) Dear Reader, possibly one of these unknown skills within you is the skill of cartooning…and nobody, not even you is aware of its existence, so dig it out! Surprise yourself, and surprise the world. Oh…and if you want to take the Johari Window Test, click here.)

Cartoons have a mysterious power to reach into the hearts and minds of people, and shake them out of their stupor.  Before we move on to the apparently more practical matter of explaining what a cartoon is, I must mention the fact that sometimes the cartoons that change the face of the world, don’t come from the cartoonists. We’ll discuss the reason behind this anomaly later, but let me share an example to corroborate my viewpoint.

Benjamin Franklin, officially created the first American political cartoon in 1754, which depicted a snake severed into 8 parts with a caption “Join, or Die” to bring together the colonies – thus, sowing the idea of the United State of America, in the minds of the people.

Franklin is considered to be one of the founding father of the United States –  among other things, he was an author, politician, scientist (he invented the bifocals and the Franklin Stove,) and a musician. Did you read the term cartoonist anywhere?

Reflect upon it while I disappear to bring you the second chapter of this book “Evolution of a Cartoonist” or the fourth post in the series. I hope this book will sow the seeds of cartooning into your mind, and motivate you to express your ideas in this delightful visual format.

Read the two previous posts of Chapter 1:

  1. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 1 – How to Draw Cartoons – Introduction, Working Definition, and Three Examples.
  2. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 2 – How to Draw Cartoons – The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon.

About Hypnotoy Lite and other Stuff that makes me feel creative :)

Dear Readers and Chance-visitors who I hope will come back again 🙂

Recently, I’ve been working my tail off (sorry, picked up that figure of speech from my dog,) which for me means multi-tasking – and everyone who multi-task knows how stressful this multi-tasking demon can be. It’s easier on me when I earmark a day only to draw, and then I really, actually, practically stick to “drawing” and nothing else; or when I decide only to write, and then I just write and not draw that day – but unfortunately, such days are very rare.

Coming to the topic of this post…

Stuff that makes me feel creative is often strewn around, difficult to find when I need it most.  Hypnotoy has been my creative anchor in such times. When I am tired and my mind begins to draw a blank (!) I find the Hypnotoy icon on my iPad and tap it. Those lovely Dancing Experiences help me relax and focus. I loved it through the process of its creation, through the sleepless nights, and through those daintily and painstakingly painted graphics; and now I love it as an App that beckons at me through its sparkling icon and opens its arms to embrace me whenever I tap on it. As the stress oozes out and comfort seeps in, I begin to feel creative.

What I want to share with you is the news that Hypnotoy- The Toy of Joy has now got its FREE version – Hypnotoy Lite! This means that I can recommend it to all my visitors who have an iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Try it out – see if it connects with you, they way it connected with me 🙂

Here’s the link. Click (or tap) the icon to reach the App Store!

Hypnotoy Lite - A Beautiful Lifestyle and Entertainment Free App for iPad, iPhone, and iPod

Hypnotoy Lite is the Free Version of Hypnotoy – The Toy of Joy. Click (tap) to Download.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I must get back to my tablet now…and yes, the third post on “Evolution of a Cartoonist” is due tomorrow 🙂 Until then, relax with your own Hypnotoy Lite.

icon-caricature-cartoon-color-drawing-portrait-singer-justin-bieber-and-his-hair

Caricature/Cartoon of the Teen Sensation Justin Bieber… and of his Hair!

I’d like to begin by apologizing for my long absence from blogging. While I could write unbelievable yet true stories about my being abducted to Atlantis or my journey into and out (no, not that way,) of a polar bear’s belly, but I have changed. I have transformed into a serious, good-for-nothing, dreamy-eyed artist, and so I must tell you the truth. I was busy, and I still am, but I was so ashamed of my tardiness that I decided it was time that I made this post about Just-in Bee-burr!

If you are below 18, you may try to scratch my eyes out for caricaturing your heart throb, the oh-so-cute Bee-burr, but the adults of this world, the ones who really count (in my opinion,) will appreciate my ability to recognize, and then remember this young boy with diamond earrings and…well, a thatch of golden hair that keeps changing its direction. You see, at my age, all kids begin to look-alike.

Here’s his caricature with his golden hackles up!

Justin Bieber - Caricature, Cartoon, Painting, Digitally Colored drawing of the Teen Sensation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the boy. He’s neat and clean, and cute, and he’s even finished High School in order to please his mom (who’s quite young herself.) I’d say that his achievement of becoming a multi-millionaire at this tender age is dwarfed by these other important achievements. I mean, kids his age try their best to look as shabby as a porcupine that’s been out all night, and they compete to find the most effective method to make their parents unhappy. But Bee-burr isn’t like all other kids and moms would be mighty pleased to see their kids emulate him.

A Quick Bio of the Teen-Icon Justin Bieber

Just-in burst upon the American music scene when he was barely thirteen! Moms, tune in…this is how it happened. Justin’s mom made YouTube video of her son’s performance in a local singing competition. Now, there’s this particular African-American genre of music that originated in the 40s called Rhythm and Blues (lazily called R&B), and young Bieber sang in this genre. Now a gentleman called Mr. Scooter Braun discovered one of his videos and figured that the boy had talent, and so he found him out and then scooted him away to Atlanta. The rest is…as I’d say, recent history, and full of mind-boggling details too! So, if you’d like to boggle your mind, tap the mother lode of all information here.

Oh…I forgot to mention. He was born on March 01, 1994, in Canada, and his middle name is Drew.

Interesting Bites about Bee-burr!

  • Bieber’s hairstyles have been as famous as he is. (In fact, I found an online game that gives you the opportunity to cut Justin Bieber’s hair. I don’t know if they have Bieber’s permission to play with his magical locks.) His first hairstyle made him look like he was going up at -g (Check out Alfred E. Neuman with a Justin Bieber Hairstyle here.) and then second makes him look like he is going down at g. I am sure that all this means nothing really, because his career continues to climb.
  • Bieber doesn’t want US citizenship (if that slot is free, I’ll be happy to take it,) and he’s happy being a Canadian. (Come to think of it, if I were a Canadian, I’d be happy too. I mean a grand total of 35 Million people living on 9,985,000 km² would mean that only about three (two?)-and-a-half men (oops! Corrected – people,) live on a square kilometer. With that kind of space, nobody from the neighborhood would bother complaining about a young boy who practices singing at odd hours in the night.)
  • Justin gifted a song to his mom.
  • Justin is going steady with another singer Selena Gomez, two years his senior. Good boy. It’s time to tell the world that a woman can be a man’s senior and they could still share a great relationship.
  • And for the Justin-crazy lot…if you aren’t already there (fat chance, I know,) here’s Bieber’s Facebook page, and here’s his Twitter handle (He had 26,872,932 followers when I checked his page and he gets a new one every second, so don’t blame me if the number has changed.)

Sinister-handed Lefties are the Smarter Lot – A Case for the Left-handers!

The Boon of Left-handedness

Left-handedness is a trait that makes you special. Among the right-handers, a left-hander is the center of everyone’s attention. Secretly, every right-handed person wishes for the boon of left-handedness, because it makes one special…in whichever way.

So, if you were born left-handed, rejoice. Because people around you envy the fact that to look different, all you need to do is be yourself. Those right-handers also envy you because you are smarter, more creative, and infinitely more interesting than them, but then this too is something that they’d never confess to you, ever.

The data-squirrels have sacks full of data suggesting that the lefties are:

Yet, the left-handers of the world have been called names. They’ve been called sinister-handed, southpaw,  cack/cacky-handed (clumsy) Why? Because every damn thing ever made was made for the right-handed people, and the lefties appeared obviously “clumsy” when they used them. I wish there were a place where everything was made for the left-handed people, and then a few right-handed, “dexterous” people were let loose in it. I’d like to see how they continue to remain dexterous!

Nevertheless, the left-handed people do a good job with these right-handed instruments, because they have better visual sense and the ability to analyze space. I agree that it’s a freaking pain to cut fabric using the scissors manufactured for the “dexterous” majority (and, trust me, it’s a bigger pain trying to find a pair of scissors for the left-handed,) yet the lefties will give you a straighter cut than most of your right-ies.

Some of the lefties are ambidextrous, which means that they are able to use both their hands with equal efficacy (well, according to this link, ambidextrous also means – deceitful and bisexual – do you see how the right-ies try to bring us down at every available opportunity?) The ambidextrous appear magical to the normal, rightly-gifted lot…and magic is more often feared than revered. This makes the ambidextrous lot angry, but there isn’t much they can do about it. So they go into their shells to save themselves from those wide-eyed, crazy looks that they get, and they hide themselves from the world.

The fact that I can draw with both hands at the same time, the fact that I can write in reverse without ever practicing it, could’ve been a normal thing for me; but when I was in seventh grade and  stupid enough to demonstrate it in front of my friends, I lost them because their parents thought that I was a witch. And so I kept it hidden, but every once in a while when I get lost in an idea, I start using both my hands to draw it out. Yet the moment I catch myself in the unspeakable act of allowing my sinistrality (note that it isn’t even a proper word) to work together with my dexterity, I stop to look around and check whether anyone’s watching me. Wonder why people don’t give that funny look to themselves when they type with both hands, or when they swim using all their limbs.

I spent a long time worrying about hiding my weird writing and drawing habits, and now I’ve reached a point where I don’t care anymore, especially because these sinister abilities didn’t harm me in any way.

Here’s something for people who worry about their kids being left-handed/mirror-writers.

I survived and I survived well.

Without going into irrelevant details, here are some facts about this woman who masquerades as the caricaturist:

  • I’m good at Math and Physics. I studied Engineering and then worked as an engineer.
  • I successfully competed in many national entrance exams, and I even topped one of them.
  • I can read, write, and speak two languages, and I can learn the script of any language almost overnight.
  • I can draw better than many and I am not clumsy at all (but don’t put me behind the steering wheel or I’ll drive you right into the oncoming traffic).

Yet,

  • I can’t understand or appreciate music at all, nor can I recognize voices beyond those of my family members. (I don’t really miss it.)
  • I wad probably born left-handed, but I learned to write and eat with my right hand. (Not bad. Righties may try doing the opposite and see how easy it is.)
  • I am less practical than about 90% of the human race. (That’s what makes me an artist :-))
  • I am straight. (not a great loss, I think. Read this.)

Do you see?
If you are a lefty or a parent of a lefty, there’s no reason for you to worry. You (or your child) are gifted.

Before I end this post, here’s a quote that I read on a t-shirt (and so I don’t know who wrote it, but whoever did – thanks. I also found a link with many more quotes about left-handedness and added it here.)
“”Everyone is born right-handed…but only the greatest overcome it.

and yes, there’s a World Left-Hander Day. It’s August 13th (and no, it’s not a Friday.)

Toony Pretzels – Flint: Feeling Flinty? Find some Steel!

Most of us have our highs and lows, and for most of us neither the highs nor the lows define our normal states. But then there are those of us who feel depressed and unhappy all the time. They say, they need the spark; they are the Mr. (and Ms.?) Flints who are looking for some steel that they could interact with and produce that spark. This post is about flint and steel.

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon - A depressed, sad, unhappy man looking for inspiration - Flint and Steel.

Flint and Steel

Here are some Flints looking for some steel.

Generally,

  • An artist trying to find inspiration.
  • A writer struggling against writer’s block.
  • A man who has lost sight of his purpose.
  • A woman who wants to get out of her daily rut.

and more specifically!